Cyber Security Trends To Watch Out in 2021
With ever-growing cybercrime rates and AI stepping up its hacking game, the field of cybersecurity holds an instrumental position in almost every organization.
The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing with hackers finding new ways to target businesses and cybersecurity professionals trying to keep up with the defenses. The proliferation of IoT devices, the increased acceptance of a cloud-only model, and new threats like ransomware and botnets are some of the key factors driving cybersecurity trends. Companies of all sizes have embraced the cloud and open source has become the standard for infrastructure software. Both pose their own blend of benefit and risk. A major data center attack or failure could be problematic for many companies, and we can certainly expect an increase in the number of cyber-attacks based on open source vulnerabilities
Cybercrime is everywhere! Cybercriminals are opportunistic. The Pandemic has made the world more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Cyber insurance provider Coalition states that ransomware accounted for 41% of all cyber insurance claims filed in the first half of 2020. Over the past 12 months, the perpetrators behind these cyberattacks got better at infiltrating enterprise networks, with brute-force attacks on remote access software such as Remote Desktop Protocol and VPNs, the malware used to gain a foothold, and bots to help spread the ransomware. Targeting the most vulnerable victims and strategies that make it difficult to recover encrypted data will keep ransomware the most profitable way for cybercriminals in 2021 and the single biggest threat for all enterprises. That makes it critical for information security officers to ensure they follow best practices for reducing ransomware risk this year.
Digital Rights Management
The number of internet users will continue to increase in the coming year, and 84% of organizations will continue to support remote work even after a stay at home orders are lifted. Combining these trends with the rapid development and adoption of technologies like 5G (which enables malicious actors to execute attacks and move data much more quickly) suggests that we will see an increase in the number of people around the world who are impacted by data breaches. Due to the rising demand for digital content security and management, the DRM market is expected to expand at a significant pace this year. The adoption of innovative revenue models and the introduction of stringent policies and regulations by governments for the protection of intellectual property (IP) from unfair usage and illegal competition is also driving digital rights management. Lack of awareness about enterprises about the benefits of DRM solutions and lack of common standards to manage digital content restrict the growth of this market. The various digital rights management applications such as mobile content, mobile gaming, and e-books in different verticals offer opportunities for the global DRM market.
Zero Trust Network Access
Zero trust network access (ZTNA) services, also known as a software-defined perimeter (SDP), are a set of technologies built to provide fast, secure access to private applications without placing a user on the network.
Based on the sensitivity of data access, we should be consistently re-verifying users at points where it makes sense. At the same time, we want to make sure the user experience for legitimate users is as seamless and comfortable as possible. It’s a balance between making things more productive for end users while increasing the security level by continuously monitoring and deciding if we need to re-prompt for verification.
In the zero-trust security model, you grant access – to critical applications, data, and endpoints – only to those users and devices that have already been authenticated and verified. This approach is based on three essential steps:
- Verifying users when they login to the system
- Validating devices before they connect to the network
- Managing privileged access
Misconfiguration occurs when computing assets are set up incorrectly, often leaving them vulnerable to malicious activity. Misconfiguration of cloud resources is a leading cause of data breaches and could allow deletion or modification of resources and service interruption. Cloud misconfigurations are considered a data security risk by 95% of IT decision-makers. As public clouds become more widely used within an organization, the risk of misconfiguration grows. But it can be avoided as long as organizations use cybersecurity and policy automation to keep up with the sheer volume of network activity. If more IT security tasks are automated, organizations are better prepared to reduce hybrid cloud complexity and improve network visibility to prevent cloud misconfiguration from happening in the first place.
Compliance Will Be the Key
Security and compliance teams face an uncertain 2021, and there will no doubt be increased regulation as a result of COVID-19. But there is also data compliance uncertainty between the US, Europe, and the UK as a result of the UK exiting the European Union in January 2021. Organizations will need to adopt protective security arrangements to meet the changing threat landscape, including the challenge of managing a remote workforce at scale. 55% of enterprise executives plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets in 2021 and 51% are adding full-time cyber staff in 2021.
2020 has been a difficult year for compliance. We have already seen the EU-US Privacy Shield being revoked. Any businesses that handle sensitive or personal data, such as HIPAA-compliant healthcare organizations, must take extra care during this pandemic. Each legislation is still enforceable despite some relaxation of enforcement by governing bodies like the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Other data privacy acts, such as GDPR, CCPA will continue to take action against businesses that suffer a data breach.
The identity will become the new security perimeter. In 2021, IT teams will implement a more robust identity and access management (IAM) strategy and solutions such as Single Sign-On (SSO), password management, and multifactor authentication (MFA) to support a secure digital dynamic workforce and to further enhance remote employees’ security. We will see a larger number of organizations adopt passwordless authentication.
Data Sovereignty Will be a Priority
Privacy and data protection have been a major driver for restricting international data transfers. Policymakers in the EU and around the world are focusing their attention on the rollout of digital infrastructures like the cloud and 5G, to reduce dependence on international suppliers and to prevent potential surveillance activities by foreign governments. Data localization approaches have been embraced around the world (e.g. Russia, Brazil, China, India, Vietnam) to ensure easier law enforcement access to data for criminal investigations and prosecutions. Finding a policy solution to cross-border data transfers is an unprecedented opportunity: a new Privacy Shield might set the benchmark for global data flows.
Smaller and Efficient Collaboration Tools
we’ve seen time and time again that these open, large-scale video calls created opportunities for bad actors to gain access and disrupt meetings. As companies double down on cybersecurity and employees prioritize productivity and experience higher levels of online fatigue, the functionality of these all-hands calls will diminish. Instead, people will prefer private, highly-focused video groups and breakout rooms centered around efficiency, specific goals, and collaborative interactions.